This week saw the centenary of the #Balfour Declaration and Theresa May hosted the Israeli PM, #Benjamin Netanyahu, for a dinner celebrating the event and furthering the UK government's support of the Israeli government. It has been framed as Britain's support for Israel as the homeland for the Jewish people, but the reality is that it is an exercise by Netanyahu and Theresa May to continue the strong relations between the regimes.

The history of Israel and the Balfour Declaration is that of bloodshed, oppression and global leaders using the idea of Zionism to colonise Palestine. The reality is that both the people of Israel and Palestine want peace, but Netanyahu's terrorist group are in complete control over Israel.

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What happened following the Balfour Declaration?

In 1917, foreign secretary, Sir Arthur James Balfour, signed an agreement that gave the land of Palestine to the newly formed Zionist Federation, a political movement whose goal was the creation of the Jewish state. The idea is not absurd however, the declaration promised away land that didn't belong to Britain and ignored the political rights to those who were native to the region, the Palestinians. #The British Empire used Zionism as a tool to protect their strategic interest in the region.

The British Governor of Jerusalem, Ronald Storrs, believed that creating Israel would place "a little loyal Jewish ulster" within the region and Sir Winston Churchill stated that he would see "a Jewish state under the protection of the crown" by the banks of Jordan.

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The idea of giving the Jewish people their own homeland isn't a bad idea but in 1937 at the Peel Commission, Churchill stated that the Balfour Declaration would make Palestine an overwhelmingly Jewish stated. Essentially advocating the genocide and forced migration of the Palestinian people.

The British led a campaign that saw the Palestinian people swept into concentration camps, with torture methods such as waterboarding being used. The war waged was bloody and unrelenting against the native Palestinians with numerous massacres being carried out. In one instance in Al-Bassa in 1938 where British soldiers forced Arabs onto a bus and made them drive over a land mine. It was also common practice to take Arab hostages and force them to ride in convoy with them to prevent attacks, this is tactic that the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) use today.

Central policy to the British repression in Palestine was the collective punishment method, which saw entire towns and cities dynamited. By May 1948, 400,000 Palestinians had been ethnically cleansed from 220 villages and between 750,000 to 900,000 men, women and children had been driven out of their homeland by Jewish militia supported and oversaw by Britain.

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Since the declaration of independence, 70 years on the Israeli government continue their campaign of genocide against the Palestinian people and there are more than 5 million Palestinian refugees living in camps across Palestinian territories, Lebanon and Jordan, and in Syria.